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tv   Consider This  Al Jazeera  February 17, 2014 10:00pm-11:01pm EST

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i'm john siegenthaler, i'll see you here at 11:00 eastern, 8:00 central. the right to die, something you'll want to hear. consider this with antonio mora is next. we'll see you back here at 11:00. >> north korea ripped by the u.n., including comparisons to the nasty. we ask if anything will change. venezuela erupts in protest. reports ahead. plus, the crazy case of a prounion effort allowed by the company, countered by the workers. and dick cavett on jimmy fallon's "tonight show" debut. hello, i'm antonio mora, and welcome to "consider this," here is more on what is ahead.
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>> united nations report is levelling disturbing allegations against the north koreans. >> kim jong un may be responsible for the crimes against humanity. >> systematic enslavement, rape, murder and torture. >> venezuela president ordered the expulsion of three u.s. diplomat. >> the government is censoring them. >> it comes as the country enters its sixth day of process. >> a set back for process in u.s. >> our man jimmy fallon taking over over. >> the sixth host in six years. >> it will be a big night. >> we begin with a report on unspeakable crimes perpetrated in north korea, and an unprecedented warning from the united nations to north korea's leaders. u.n. investigators said monday
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that supreme leader kim jong un and his security forces could face an international trial for ordering systematic widespread and gross human rights violations. they are detailed in a 272-paged report. michael kirby, and shared the u.n. commission of inquiry compared north korea's crimes to that of the nazises in world war ii. michael kirby had this challenge for his u.n. colleagues. >> too many times there are reports in no action. well, this is a time for action. we can't say we didn't know. we now all do know, anyone who wants to know can read the report. >> for more, i'm pleased to be joined from santa fe by governor bill richardson, a former governor and ambassador to the u.n., who made trips to meet
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officials and negotiate for the freedom of americans. great to have you back on the show. >> thank you. >> i want to start out by - by listening to something else that michael kirby, who chaired the u.n. commission had to say. >> at the end of the world war ii so many people said "if only we had known the wrongs that were done in the country's of the hostile forces. if only we had known that." now, the international community does know. >> the fact that the up documented the cases makes it significant. we had reports by human rights
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groups, by individuals of this kind of activity. the fact that the international body, with the prestige and power of the u.n., what happens next, that is the problem. north korea has already been sanctions to death for its nuclear weapons programs and missile deaths. how do you punish it with sanctions. the problem practically is any kind of international criminal court action has to be triggered by the u.n. security council. any examination, any war crimes charge. and there it looks like one of the five powers it can veto, so china would probably veto an effort if they felt it was against north korea's interest. that's happened before. a veto by china while united
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states, britain, france and russia, the other four powers that have veto, the permanent members, would want to push it. china really is the key player, once again, as it pertains to north korea. >> at some point you have to wonder whether that alliance can hold in the light of some of the charges in the report. you go through this, it's horrific. you are talking about murder, rape, torture, abduction, starvation, slavery and examples of a woman made to drown her own baby, of people imprisoned and tortured for watching a soap opera, children imprisoned and starved from birth. in the light of all that, will this change anything? >> well, north korea has not followed international norms. they are unpredictable. possibly kim jong un, the new leader, sees and undoubtedly
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he'll read it. perhaps there's going to be some internal force, moderate forces in the military, in the political structure that say "we are not getting assistance to our starving people, to our economy, unless there's changes. that's a limited but possible course that might change things. i wouldn't count on it, but right now i think the best answer is some kind of engagement with kim jong un on this report, on the nuclear weapons reduction, on engaging with south korea, rekindling the 6-party talks towards reducing tensions in the peninsula. someone has to engage this guy, not dennis rodman, or somebody that isn't going to find ways to moderate what is happening in
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north korea, which basically is not good but we don't know anything about the new young leader and which direction he wants to go. on the one hand he's having human rights thoughts on re-unification of families with south korea. maybe that's a good sign. when he reads the report, maybe he'll say, "i'm ready to talk, ready to dialogue." >> the north korean government rejected the accusations in the report, and there are references to the fact that there could be hundreds of people in the north korean power structure that could be conceivably war criminals. is there, in a way, a danger that this might make them dig in further and not be willing to open up and expose themselves to war crimes trials? >> well there is that argument that it will create a bunker mentality, there already is a bunker mentality.
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these guys don't talk to anybody, and they isolate themselves and provoke other countries. so it basically can't get worse. my hope is that internally, some of the military in north korea, the party structure, the communist party structure, and perhaps kim jong un himself sees maybe it's time to change course. we are having a real, real international outcry against us, maybe the time has come to negotiate on nuclear weapons, on the regime itself, on isolating ourselves a lot less than we have. this report might be a kindling. i'm always an optimist. it can't get worse. >> going back to china, governor, could it be akindling there. china is named in the report for aiding and abetting the crimes against humanity, is there a chance the chinese may be
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willing to get involved in a positive way? >> yes, there is a chance, and the chinese have sent messages to north korea, "stop the dettonation of the nuclear devices. stop the launching the missiles. stop the execution." well, they couldn't stop it. they are perturbed with what is happening. the question is how much leverage are they willing to use to send a message to north korea that some of these unseemly behaviour has to stop. it could be that the chinese government with this report and the pressure that they will get in the u.n. security council to do something, it will make the chinese leverage and their actions stronger. maybe there'll be a slight change. any slight change is welcome. >> over a year ago you went to north korea, with google's eric schmidt to try to arrange the
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release of kenneth bae, an american held in north korea since november 2012. now we hear that he's been sent to a labour camp, facing 15 years of hard labour, do you think this report will make things worse. hopefully not. but it's unfortunate that the north koreans don't treat kenneth bae as a humanitarian act. they were on the verge of negotiating with an american envoy to turn him loose. it didn't happen because of military provocations alleged by the north koreans that we pursues. maybe after this report cools down, the north koreans will see fit, as a humanitarian gesture to let this korean american who has been there the longest, 15 months, who is sick, to come home to his family >> let's hope they do.
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looking at the report and seeing hundreds of thousands killed in concentration camps, atrocities, it's a horrifying thing to conceive of. governor bill richardson, great to have you on the show. thanks. >> deadly protests have raged for close to a week in venezuela. after 15 years of socialism under hugo chavez and his successor, nicolas maduro. people are concern why an oil-rich country has record prices, scarcity of services, we are joined by rachl levin, from caracas. i know you are at the center of the protests, what is going on in the streets? >> today there was a group of people marching to the ministry of communications. they complained that the government was sensoring them. most of the media is controlled by the government.
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they feel misrepresented. the government has accused these student demonstrators of being people trying to overthrow the government. the protest today, a lot of people will come out denying the change, denouncing the government saying it is continuing to sensor them. >> twitter said they had been censored, twitter had been blocked. the government has control of all the tv stations and much of the media, as you said. they have accused the united states of being involved in all of this, and ordered the expulsion of three american diplomats. >> that's correct. on sunday president nicolas maduro took to the airwaves and said he was going to expel three diplomats, he accused them of meeting with student organizers and providing them with visas. today that pressure was wretched up. the minister of foreign
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affairs gave a press conference saying they had 48 hours to leave the country. the u.s. responded and said they denied the claims and said they are not a part of any movement or in contact with groups that wish to overthrow the government. the political tension, if you will, between the united states and venezuela increased due to the protests starting under a week ago. >> why is the venezuela government focused on the united states. is there any real reason to blame the u.s. >> there has been evidence. wikileaks came out that the united states was involved with groups in venezuela, that were hostile to the government. the united states has had a long history of being involved in latin america, and supporting movements that they felt were contrary to the interest of the united states. so on one hand it would be easy
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to dismiss this as a paranoia, but there was basis for the fact that the venezuelans might be worried of u.s. involvement. we have to stress there has been no proof that any of the students were involved with trying to actually overthrow the government or connected to the u.s. embassy, but it is something the venezuelan government is sensitive about. >> the protest started because inflation is among the highest in the world. violent crime rates, and the central bank in venezuela said that about a quarter of the time you can't get basic goods in the stores, anything from toilet paper to milk. how bad have things gotten in an oil-rich country? >> inflation has been a problem or as long as i have been covering it, for the past several years. venezuela now has the highest
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inflation in the world. as you mentioned, a lot of times when you go to the market you can't find what you need. if i pay the price of what the official exchange rate is, the tennis shoes would cost about $800, adid as, something that you can get in the united states for $40. what is the problem in venezuela for everyone, no matter what side of the political sense you have, is the cost of living conditions to sky rocket. that's a chief complaint among the people demonstrating and people in favour of the government who support the government. it's a concern for them, and the government said they'd announce a new plan to combat the rising inflation and ease the economic pain, if you will, of venezuelans and we are waiting for the announcement to come out. >> interpretations are high because a -- tensions are high
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because a large protest is planned for tomorrow and the government threatened the to arrest one of the main leaders of the vends opposition. >> that's right, his name is leopoldo lopez, someone connected with the student process. he's been open about what he and his supporters want. they are not asking for the government to change, but saying that the government must leave. they want essentially what they say is a regime change. that has definitely been taken by the venezuela government as a threat to their power, they are accusing the people of overthrowing the government. an arrest warrant was issued for him last week. on sunday he sent a video to his supporters calling for a mass demonstration on tuesday, saying that he would show up for the demonstration. now, presumably if he does, the government may potentially decide to act on his threat, and arrest him. so that is something that
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everywhere here is going to be waiting and seeing tomorrow, (a), if he shows up, and (b), and the government response will be. >> rachl levin, thank you now joining us. >> a big car company encouraged workers to unionize, why did they say no. >> and harmeli aregawi on the web. >> a group is crying foul for being left oust of a tobacco settlement. what do you think: ♪
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>> is the movement to unionize southern worksesers dying on the floor of volkswagen chattanooga plant? the workers voted against organising with the u.a.w., made shocking by the fact that volkswagen didn't oppose unionizition. many are wondering is there hope for unions to gain ground if they can't win on neutral grouped. joining us from nashville tennessee, is professor daniel cornfield, from vanderbilt university. many call this a major blow for
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the union and workers in general. in this case volkswagen was open to it, allowing union reps to campaign at the plant. how will any unions be able to compete if they have to go into other companies that may be actively opposed. >> there's no doubt about it the result of this campaign was a set back for labour in the south, and it was highly unusual because the employer signs a neutrality agreement. it seems the workers decided they didn't want to have a union, and that's as the employer almost encouraged unionization. >> volkswagen may not have interfered. but there was a lot of activity beyond this being a local
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battle. all sorts of state groups were involved. >> it was unusual the amount of outside political involvement in this campaign. the high rating forces in tennessee and national forces strongly opposed the union and delivered the usual message than an employer that would oppose unionisation would dlf, and that is that unionization would jeopardise the job and economic security of the workers, it's almost like the politicians and the national political forces would play the role of the employer, who in a typical union election may oppose the union. >> that included senator bob cork are of tens -- tennessee,
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is that the reason they challenged the vote. that politicians were out there saying volkswagen will not expandment did they have grounds to challenge the vote. >> this is australian unusual situation there may not be grounds to challenge this. it may be an area to see if they can hold. >> one of the major arguments against unionization was bringing up detroit and what happened in detroit. conservatives blamed the unions. it was echoed by a worker at the
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plant. they all shared one huge factor. the u.a.w. do you think that is a fair criticism? >> the detroit situation is so complex that to single out any one factor as to why the u.s. automobile industry may have suffered economically is probably a very simplistic approach. in contrast, in tennessee, tennessee as a vibrant economy, even though the level of unionization is low here, the - there are many very large corporations doing" in tennessee that have been unionized forever, and driving the economy, especially in the transport sector. it's doubtful that adding on another unionized major corporation would undermine the tennessee economy, given it's
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been thriving with large unionized companies. >> some workers felt they didn't need a union, that the everything wage is more than $19 an hour. one worker that led the drive said "we don't need the u.a.w. to give us rights we have. we can talk to the company if we have problems", is that the issue that a lot of these companies are facing, the work conditions are good at the plants? >> it is the case that in any region of the united states, labour unions had trouble trying to organise workers in large corporations, largely because large non-union corporations pay union scale and provide union-like fringe benefits to the workers in the absence of a union. in part to dissuade the workers from unionizing altogether. in that respect the particular election is not surprising and
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would be unrelated to its southern location. >> it's an interesting vote given the history of the autobusiness. good to have you on the show. thank you for joining us. >> switching topics to america's bloody struggle to subdue the taliban and the conflict in the broader middle east. according to a new book america's afghan war has parallels in a 19th century war, reported on by a great soldier statesman. young winston churchill served as a calvary officer and reporter when the malakand field force fought a campaign against pashtun tribesman on the frontier of afghanistan, and what's now pakistan. i'm joined by the correspondent
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concoughlin, a defense editor for lion's daily telegraph, and the author of means books including his latest "church hill's first war - young winns don at war with the afghans. you say: >> do you think there's a young american infantry officer out there writing similar words? >> i think anyone who served in afghanistan over the course of the past decade who has a chance to look at my book will see history repeating itself a little bit. clearly the modern campaign is complex. al qaeda didn't exist in the victorian era. when you look at the way the politicians conducted the campaign over the past decade and the mess we are getting into as we plan to withdraw by the end of this year, with a responsibility the taliban coming back to power in kabul
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next year, then clearly some people will argue that this militarily will end in disaster. >> world powers have gotten in trouble over and over again over time. and you were inspired to write the book by two american generals. >> that's right. in the current cam feign general david pet ray us and general stanley mccrystal drew up the counterinsurgency program. when i researched what they were up to they said, "what we are doing is what the brits did in the 19th century, it's in a book by one winston s churchill, his first book. i thought the fact that a modern generation of american generals were reading up on winston churchill's war in the 1890s meant there was a resonance and parallels to be drawn. when the church was fighting in
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the 1890s, the local tribes were known as the taliban urans, which became the taliban. churchill was fighting the same tribes. >> in one case you found churchill was fighting in a town, which is where malala youcef, a pakistani girl who was shot and had to be taken to britain to survive and became a literacy advocate, he fought there. you saw all sorts of other parallels between that colonial war and what we see today. how in particular do you see that comparison? >> well, to research the book i revisited churn hill's battlefield. when i got there i realised - i was told by the pakistanis, i had to be careful because this area was a target for the c.i.a.
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drone strikes. so on the one hand i had the pakistani intelligence people saying "we don't want you to go there because it's a military zone", and the c.i.a. saying, "keep away, we might attack the villages", if you had a map of all the c.i.a. drone strikes in pakistan over the last decade, they mirror where church was fighting. >> in that sense we had a real sense that history is repeating itself. >> you wrote in a post recently - this is a quote: why? >> i think so, when president obama came to power in 2008, 2009, he personally supervised a review of the strategy for afghanistan and defeating the taliban. he personally authorised general pet ray us's plan for a military
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surge, defeat the taliban by force of arms, bring them to the negotiation table and then leave. but no sooner had that plan been implemented than the president changed his mind, abandoned the strategy and went for a cut and run policy. what we are looking at is american, other nato forces withdrawing from afghanistan, ending the military campaign, but no prospect of a political settlement which was the original objective that the president established. >> and that the taliban set to take over the areas under american control. >> i want to ask you about - you write about al qaeda ii. talking about the broader middle east and what has been happening in syria, and how osama bin laden's successor is at odds with an extremist group. because he does not like what he's doing. you say that this split within
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the al qaeda ranks may not be a good thing. >> no, in fact, if you look at what is going on in syria, which is a different complex to afghanistan. the new generation of jihadist which are volunteering to fight against the assad regime are more termed, resourceful than bin laden. it started with him and his followers living in caves, running around writing bits of paper. aq2, as the intelligence people call it, the new al qaeda, is a better organised operation, better resourced. once the fighting in syria is over scrks it will one day end, they'll turn their attention somewhere else. in britain, for example... >> if they are not defeated. >> if they are not defeated, and in britain, for example, we have
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250 british jihadists who fought in syria, returning to britain. they are more radicalized, more determined. if bombs go off in the streets of britain in the years to come, we know why it happened. >> a lot of thought-provoking things in your blogs and the book. the book is churchill's first war. >> time to see what is trending on al jazeera's website. let's check in with harmeli aregawi. >> a settlement with a cigarette company is challenged for ignoring part of the community. saying that they knowingly lied about the effects of the abuse. the ads are supposed o run in 600 newspapers. and tv networks. >> black media consultants say they should be included as they
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were targeted which the tobacco community. african-americans smoke, and are more likely to die of lung cancer, it's the third largest killer after heart disease and smoking. >> talking about the companies kenneth says: >> billy is not buying it saying: >> you can read more at the website aljazeera.com >> straight ahead jimmy fallon takes over the "tonight show." we'll ask dick cavett, talk show legend about the changes significance, and the dirty truth about gyms. our data dive may have you work out in a different way. later "breaking bad", hope the viewers like the drugs. is there a growing backlash to the way people watch noteworthy or knit picking.
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>> "tonight show" hosted by johnny carson had 18 million viewers in its heyday, twice as much as david letterman, jimmy kimmel and jay leno combined. as jimmy fallon takes control he has more to choose from, and transitions and late-night television led to great debacles, will late night have another king. joining us is someone that might know, dick cavett, the host of
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the "the dick cavett show", airing from "68 to "75, and from "77 to 1972, he was a writer on johnny carson, and the author of a book, recently: >> he is a blogger at the "new york times", it is an honour to have you was. is it tired to refer to you as legendary. >> yes, and you did it on one book, i'm impressed. the book is a collection of my 75 blogs. what an ugly word. two things you said strk me, one of the most astonishing things i read was a brilliant piece notice new yorker by a man named menand, as in men and women. near the end it was talk show and changes, i learnt when i was let go after many years on a.b.c., my rating at that time
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was higher than anything jay leno and others have achieved. it stands to reason. there are spread outs that there aren't people to watch. >> how big a deal is what is happening. you were on the jimmy fallon show, it was a terrific appearance, they recreated the old set of the dick cavett. we are looking at them. must have cost them something. you were an expensive guest. laura michaels, the seat of "saturday night live," the executive producer, says jimmy fallon is the closest thing he's seen it to johnny carson in a generation. >> michael is a bit of a genius, i would be the last to argue with lauren's opinion. sure, jimmy is young, collegiate looking, as johnny was. he's funny, he can adlib, which is different to being just funny.
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he's a witty fellow. he's appealing. >> he can sing, do impressions, he's a multi talent and the show is more of a variety show than a talk show. do you think it will hurt them. >> johnny is a dear friend of mine. there are mortal ents in mr fallon -- more talents in terms of impression, voice, dialects, musical skills, and variety of kinds, and a damn good sense of how to handle a guest. me would never step on your punchline, a terrible thing to happen when you - it's like a waiter. that was no lady that was my... want some more coffee. when a host does that, you want him dead. >> i see you would not want jimmy fallon dead. he's likeable, unpretentious,
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both qualities that jay leno had. will that help this transition go better than the one with conan, that was a disaster. >> as you alluded and referred, that was a strange misadventure in the history of the medium. jay earlier, jay back, jay-high ratings - doesn't make sense. and conan was bruised unmers fully by all that, i think. so do you think this will go more smoothly? >> it should. there's nothing blocking it. i don't see what it could be. now people will be racking their brains to figure out what do we have to do, what's the trick to getting the ratings, to not letting fallon fall behind. fallon is on top of the world at this point. he has everything going for him.
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and kimmel is good, and they are friends. he knows it. it's a strange world of animosities and friendships. >> in this whole discussion we see a lot about jimmy kimmel as the competition, and stewart and colbert. where is david letterman in the conversation, he has the second-highest ratings of any late-night talk show. >> david letterman will go until he's sick of it, i am sure. like everybody, there have been files in his run where you wish you could do anything other - to teach english rather than go to the studio and face you know whoever it is. scrony - i'm not the first to say, was hard to say, happy when he was on the air, i think, with the mother and wife problems and alcohol problems. he was so tense that i felt
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sorry for him when i worked for him because i liked him. the battle he had sitting in his t-shirt in the office smoking that he knew would kill him, and did, pulled himself together miraculously and stood in the wings, stubbed out the last cigarette before the show - he used to smoke on air - went out with class and command. it brought tears to my old eyes. >> you were talking about carson's demons. >> yes. >> it doesn't seem like this new crowd has -- >> demon free. that's right. there's probably a word for that in german. they do. they don't seem to be haunted. i have to turn in a piece about the late sid assessar shortly. god, there was a man that the gods hated. in the old greek sense. don't rise too high or we'll smit you, you won't be able to
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stand up again. drugs, booze, everything, anguish, depression - in bed for a month without getting up. why the younger folk don't have that, i don't know. i'm glad. then they might grow into it. >> and the audience aged tremendously for the late night shows, jay leno was over 58. let's go harmela aregawi. >> jimmy fallon is a powerful force on social media. jay leno doesn't hit the million mark. a skit with he and justin bieber amassed 21 million hit. to capitalize on jimmy fallon, the "tonight show" launched an act to allow viewers to interact. will young people watch the show or the clips online. >> all i think is if ut
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suggested to jack power, people will react to your show while you are on the air, during the show, he would have blown up into a million pieces and taken lives around him. i think it's a nice thing. although i don't know how i can do it. i can't conceive of sitting there with hepburn or brando or people i allegedly got that couldn't be gotten and been irritated by people calling that the show. i know you were talking about - that nothing has to be seen when it's on the air because you can catch it the next day, you can get it on the device, or that device. a friend will tell you he found it somewhere else, and exchanged everything. have i slid off the question. >> no. >> i'm a slider, you'll have to watch me. >> i'll get you back to it. >> gently. >> i'll try. as someone who did it for so
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many years in different capacities, what do you think, was there any way of someone dominating late night or are we in a different universe where the audience is so splintered that no one will be the king of late night. >> i think you ask me if there'll be a king of the night. that was a book been johnny. it might not be, we may have moved beyond that, things are so dispersed, there may not be a way of somebody killing everyone else. by the way, the other thing i learnt in the new yorker article was that johnny carson, this may be an exclusive for you - johnny carson, his friend swifty lazare told me in strict confidence once - i better not tell it. >> not now. >> said while the people are alive. but he said once to me dick
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cavett's the only one that could beat me, could have beaten me, he corrected it to, if he had a full station line-up. in that article i learnt for the first time, four years ago, that a.b.c. had a third fewer stations than n.b.c., i could laugh off the idea of knocking johnny off the throne >> must have been nice to hear that johnny carson thought that about you. >> that was nice. and also - it may be another exclusive. once he said i wish i had dropped the half hour. shortened the show. and this may take us back to johnny, like many entertainers in show business, babies and monsters and giants and creeps, and wonders , was happiest at
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work. >> maybe you should come back to late night and be the king of late night again. >> got an offer. >> i'll talk to the al jazeera folks and see what they say. >> you didn't hear that bj mcfallon yet. >> another exclusive. >> you are among the very best. >> thank you very much. i hope you're not into pinocc o pinocchio. thank you. great to have you on the show. >> straight ahead, atms are dispensing more than money. you want to think twice before your next traction. that's in our data dive. "house of cards" has millions of americans binge watching. seems like fun, so why the back lashing.
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today's data dive gets dirty. "men's health" looked at a series of studies to identify the highest traffic areas for germs. office desks have hundreds of times more bacteria than the toilet seats in the same buildings. wipe down your desks once a day
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and don't eat in nof your computer. public bathrooms can be disgusting, identifying 19 groups, and found one out of four soap dispensers hold faecal bacteria. once you wash your hands next to the germs you may want to try them on the clothe, rubbing them under a drier can boost bacteria 45%. cleaning tools can make you sick. 13% of vacuum cleaners carry ecoli. change the bag, disinfect the brush. atms give you more than cash. each key on an atm key pad had 1200 germs, on every key. each bill could have 26,000 bacteria. grocery shopping. a sign tisks estimate showed
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two-thirds of grocery cards had faecal bacteria. free food samples will have you paying later. a five-state ecoli outbreak was linked to cheese samples from a costco sore. >> rhino virus was found on 63% of gym equipment. weights were the worst. as if i needed another excuse not to go to the gym. >> coming up, the backlash for binge watching shows like "house of cards." are binge watchers being contrarium or do they have a legitimate complaint.
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>> president obama does it, millions of americans do it. you probably do it. so if everyone does it, can it be that bad? we are talking about binge watching. this past weekend netflix made
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the new season of "house of cards" available at once, and a lot of people spent the past few days watching every episode. some are worried that bij watching is an -- binge watching is a new addiction. >> alex soo-jung kim pang joins us from mountain view california, a strategic consultant the senior business inslight. he is the author of "the distraction addiction," getting the information you need and the communication you want without enraging your family, annoying your colleagues and destroying your sole. >> this is happening more and more often because we can. in the cold days if you didn't catch a tv show when it aired, you couldn't see it. now you can watch all five seasons of "lost", whenever you want. you wrote it could be restorative. why? >> it's seven seasons of "love the", >> i missed two.
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>> people must be tweeting about that. >> i saw them all. felt like five. >> a restorative experience is one that mentally recharges you, and it has a couple of important features. it is endlessly fascinating, but effortlessly fascinating, for different people, or different kinds of activity it fulfilled it. for some it's literature, science fiction. for some it could be hiking. for others, rebuilding cars. doing that kind of heavy-duty mechanical design stuff. >> the people i've been interviewing talk about watching shows like "game of thrones", "through the wire", or "house of cards," using language that people use for going to the theatre or the open ra.
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so i think that's what sort of the experiences are, and binge watching turns out for lots of people to be restorative because it captures their attention easily, transports them to another world and gives them the opportunity to engage mentally but with something that is outside the normal every day lives. >> that sounds nice and good. your book, called the distraction addiction, and you talk about how to avoid enraging your family. i know people who become antisocial while they binge watch "breaking bad," and "house of cards" - my wife and daughter among them. doesn't this lead to antisocial behaviour. you can't have a conversation with your family. >> i think if you dig deeper, what you see is it's a different kind of social eighty. for one thing people choose shows on the basis of friend recommendation, and do so partly because their friends are
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peppering their conversation with rom swanson parks and rec references and they want to get in on that. while you can argue watching something for two or three hours - yes, those particular moments may not be a social, but the broader phenomena can be. the other thing too is that plenty of us binge watch with other people or our kids. >> it's the whole social media component. i posted an obnoxious comment that "house of cards" is silly, now that i'm four in. i got such a response, connecting me to people i don't talk to all that often. some say this is an i diction. i think it's silly, it's not like drugs and alcohol. it takes over an enormous amount of someone's life.
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>> sure, the people that i have been talking to about it are strategic and thoughtful about the shows, and when they watch it. they don't necessarily want to go and start season one. "sop rannos", you save it until the end of the semester or a project. technology loves the ideas of their products being addictive. this is in the design world, you know, creating video games that are i dictive. fundamentally, tech nonethelessy and media don't work the way things are generally addictive. netflix, amazon prime, the other services they do do things on their websites to encourage you to watch more, but i don't thing that people are buy and large
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finding themselves in the position of not being able to resist another episode, not being able to furn it off when it's -- turn it off when it's time to go off and really go and do other things. >> you must have not watched "24" in a binge kind of way. how about our attention span, what does this mean about attention spans? we hear it's strengthening, does binge watching combat that? >> it's a great question. i think binge watching does. you know, you think of social media, or watching little videos on youtube as chopping up your attention. one of the - one of the definitive features of binge watching is that it's something that people engage in in order to have an experience of stretching out their attention, focussing on things for a long
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period of time. intricate stories, things with compelling plots, strong acting, but also it gives them an opportunity to watch in a way that let's them pick up the nuances of a show, or pay attention to minor characters, or recurring themes that you wouldn't necessarily notice if you were watching an hour per week. things like the colour of the clothing of different characters in breaking bad which follows a sophisticated pallet depending on plot traj ect ris. that's the sort of thing that you don't necessarily notice if you watch over the course of months or years, but you can over the course of weeks or days. >> a lot of interesting questions, one we'll leave for another day is how binge watching will affect broadcast television and television production in general. we'll leave it there, alex, author of the book "the distraction addiction." it's great to have you on the
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show. thank you very much. >> thank you, great to be on. >> the show may be over, but the conversation continues on the website aljazeera.com/considerthis. you can follow us on twitter, google+. see you next time. >> good evening everyone, welcome to al jazeera america. i'm john siegenthaler in new york. crimes against humanity. the united nations report on north korea. allegations of atrocities and brutality against people and the effort to hold kim jong-un accountable. after the verdict, the mistrial of the michael dunn murder trial, what it means, to the criminal justice system. i'll talk to reverend jesse

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